Children's Hunger Fund team arrives home from training Haiti and Dominican Republic church network in food and aid delivery less than 48 hours before devastating quake, stunned by outpouring of public support through social media.
PACOIMA, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite virtually having no presence in national news or mainstream media lists, and unknown from a standpoint of general awareness, Children's Hunger Fund's (CHF) reputation and established work in Haiti has virally spread from Chicago to Canada, Los Angeles to London, even San Antonio to South Korea.
Working solely from personal referrals and flyers through e-mail and Facebook, or appeals and announcements at church and school functions, Los Angeles-based CHF has been flooded with phone calls and e-mails with cash and product donations since last week's earthquake rocked the impoverished nation of Haiti. Website traffic is up 500 percent, while volunteers regularly scheduled to work on the warehouse assembly line are being pulled into the office to help with data entry and follow-up calls.
Over the past two years, CHF, one of America's top-ranked charities on Charity Navigator, Forbes, and Ministry Watch, has worked to establish relationships in Haiti and the Dominican Republic that, prior to the earthquake, were to officially launch as a CHF Mercy Network® in February 2010. Just one week before the earthquake, CHF's first cargo container with 1,800 Food Paks® and other supplies arrived at Esperanza International, its Distribution Partner in Santo Domingo. That same week, a team of four from CHF -- including Executive Director of Ministry Development, Mark Rodriguez, and International Mercy Network Director, Kempiz Hernandez -- trained Haitian and Dominican churches for relational Compassion Ministry and the home-delivery of food and aid. The team safely arrived back in the U.S., missing the devastating earthquake by less than 48 hours.
"Disaster relief was the very last thing we addressed in training. Knowing that the area is highly susceptible to hurricanes, Mercy Network leaders were asking if we would support them in such disasters," said Hernandez. "We affirmed to them that we would stand by them with support."
CHF is in frequent communications with its network churches and Esperanza, and has received confirmation of both rescues and deaths from among their families and congregations. However, despite the extreme loss and tragedy suffered by CHF's Haitian and Dominican Mercy Network Volunteers, they express desire to carry out plans to enter Port-au-Prince with aid and relief. Rodriguez confirmed that the Haiti/Dominican Republic Mercy Network is now up and running weeks ahead of schedule.
CHF President, Dave Phillips, anticipates sending 30-60 additional cargo containers of food and aid over the next several months. Mass amounts of product with a value totaling approximately $360,000 have been donated from companies and organizations around the nation, including:
- H-E-B: 60,000 lbs of food and hygiene products
- Feed My Starving Children: 240,000 servings of vitamin-fortified emergency rations
- American Italian Pasta Company: 40,000 lbs of pasta
- Colusa Milling Company: 12,000 lbs cranberry beans
- Kirsten Company: 12,000 lbs black beans
- Colusa Produce Corporation: 5,000 lbs beans
- Tarke Warehouse: 10,000 lbs beans
- Crocs: 12,000 pairs of shoes
- Kimberly Clark: 1,000 units of hygiene products
"The massive public response to Haiti provides us with massive opportunities to serve those suffering in this tragedy," said Phillips. "I'm reminded of the '94 Northridge quake, when we were first able to respond in a big way. Now, mass communication has given people an even greater opportunity to help in ways never thought possible."
Ways to help Children's Hunger Fund in Haiti Relief Efforts:
- Give online at www.ChildrensHungerFund.org and note HAITI EARTHQUAKE in the comments field, or call (800) 708.7589.
- Spread the word by forwarding CHF flyer (available at www.ChildrensHungerFund.org) by e-mail, posting it on Facebook or Twitter, or distributing it around town.
- Spread the word by posting radio and television Public Service Announcements (PSA) (available at www.ChildrensHungerFund.org) on Website, blog, Facebook, or Twitter pages.
About Children's Hunger Fund
Children's Hunger Fund (CHF) was founded in 1992 and seeks to alleviate the suffering of needy children across America and around the world. With established Mercy Networks in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Antonio, and in developing countries around the world, CHF provides training and resources to local churches to help them meet the needs in their communities. CHF is consistently ranked one of America's most cost-effective charities by www.Forbes.com, www.MinistryWatch.org, and www.CharityNavigator.org. For more information about Children's Hunger Fund, please visit www.ChildrensHungerFund.org.
Media Contact: Denise Ishida Children's Hunger Fund (818) 899.5122 x.235 (office) firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Children's Hunger Fund